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 Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen

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PostSubject: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 6:58 pm

05/21/2008 4:58 PM ET
Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Dontrelle Willis is rejoining the Tigers, but he'll be doing so in the bullpen.

Manager Jim Leyland announced Wednesday that the team will activate Willis from the 15-day disabled list, but Willis will not return to the rotation. Instead, he'll pitch in relief while the Tigers try to work on his pitching.

Armando Galarraga, who has been one of the Tigers' most effective starters since replacing Willis in the rotation, will remain there.

"We just want to keep him working, get some more innings in, get him fine-tuned a little bit, and then we'll play it from there," Leyland said.

The Tigers will make the move either Wednesday night or Thursday, depending on the move they make to create room for Willis on the 25-man roster. He is not expected to be activated in time for Wednesday night's game against Seattle.

Willis has been on the DL since hyperextending his right knee in his second start as a Tiger on April 11 at Chicago. He made three rehab starts for Triple-A Toledo, most recently last Saturday. While his knee has apparently been fine, his control has gone in and out. That has been club officials' main concern after he walked nine batters in five-plus innings in his two Detroit starts.

"We'll pick our spots to get him work and try to move him along forward," Leyland said. "He's got a great approach, great attitude about it. He's ready to go."

If he irons out his issues, Willis would presumably return to the rotation at some point. He signed a three-year, $29 million contract in the offseason to be a longterm member of Detroit's rotation. However, there's no timetable on moving him back there.

"Whatever they want to do, I'll do it," Willis said.

Galarraga has a 3-1 record and 3.06 ERA in six starts since the Tigers purchased his contract from Triple-A Toledo last month. He has allowed just 21 hits over 35 1/3 innings, good for a .167 opposing batting average, with 14 walks and 24 strikeouts. With his ability to throw strikes and challenge hitters, he has been surprisingly effective.

"I know when [Willis] gets better he'll be a starter in the rotation," Galarraga said, "so I don't want to try to do too much and just keep it rolling."

Galarraga's next start is scheduled for Friday night at home against Minnesota.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 7:00 pm

Best news I've heard! Now, if they can get Sheff on the DL, where he belongs, the team will be stronger!

applaud Gala stays!, Bullpen may get stronger with Willis!


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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 7:04 pm

applaud

Now that a decision I agree with!!!
I think everybody will win from this.
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 7:15 pm

Oh thank god Whew
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 7:47 pm

wahoo!
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Wed May 21, 2008 8:09 pm

YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!! Finally a good move, now let Los DH, and let Inge play 3rd and were set!
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:23 am

Hooray!
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:37 am

gdennis59 wrote:
YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!! Finally a good move, now let Los DH, and let Inge play 3rd and were set!
Thanks gdennis! That's exactly the way to go! YAY! YAY!
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 3:31 am

Yay!!! YAY!
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 11:44 am

So did they put Clay on the DL?
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 11:52 am

mrsrabelo wrote:
So did they put Clay on the DL?

yup....bicep tendinitis
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 1:00 pm

mrsrabelo wrote:
So did they put Clay on the DL?

LHP Clay Rapada (biceps tendinitis, 15-day DL on May 21)


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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Thu May 22, 2008 2:01 pm

swiss_tiger wrote:
gdennis59 wrote:
YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!! Finally a good move, now let Los DH, and let Inge play 3rd and were set!
Thanks gdennis! That's exactly the way to go! YAY! YAY!

I almost knew you would like that idea. And it seems most sensible to do now.
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Fri May 23, 2008 12:45 am

laprimamirala wrote:
yup....bicep tendinitis


GoGetEmTigers wrote:
mrsrabelo wrote:
So did they put Clay on the DL?

LHP Clay Rapada (biceps tendinitis, 15-day DL on May 21)

Thank you. Thats what my mom said but I didn't see anything about it, well I didn't look too hard either but oh well.

Oh and I got some cool picts of Maggs today at the game, Lap. I will have to post them for you tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Fri May 23, 2008 6:41 am

thank you sooooooooo much Mrs. Rabelo! I will be at the game tonight, but I had to send my picture to him in the mail.
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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Sat May 24, 2008 9:21 am

05/24/2008 12:31 AM ET
Willis makes relief debut for Tigers
Left-hander comes out of bullpen for first time since 2003
By Scott McNeish / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis made his first appearance since returning from a hyperextended right knee in Friday's 9-4 loss to the Twins at Comerica Park.

Willis, a starter recently sent to the bullpen to work on control issues, made his first relief appearance since the 2003 postseason as a member of the Marlins. He entered the game in the seventh inning and allowed one run on one hit and two walks, though one was intentional.

"I felt good," Willis said. "It felt good to be back, get out there and sweat a little bit, trying to get back into it."

He said coming on in relief did not affect his ability to get into a rhythm.

"It didn't bother me," Willis said. "I went out there and used all my pitches, and after being out so long, it felt good be out there again."

Manager Jim Leyland liked what he saw in the seventh inning, when Willis got out of a two-on jam. Willis gave up a triple to Michael Cuddyer to start the eighth and was taken out in favor of Aquilino Lopez, who gave up a single that scored the runner.

"I thought he threw the ball pretty well in [his] first inning, got out of that," Leyland said, "and then started the eighth inning falling behind 2-0, and then had to come back in."

Willis will continue to throw out of the bullpen while he works on his pitching. Until the team feels Willis is ready to start again, right-hander Armando Galarraga will remain in the rotation.

In just his second start in a Tigers uniform on April 11, Willis slipped on the mound while delivering a pitch and hyperextended his knee. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The 2005 Cy Young Award runner-up, Willis was part of the December blockbuster trade that also brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit from the Marlins.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Willis headed to Tigers' bullpen   Mon May 26, 2008 5:56 pm

Go Willis
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